Bill Gates wants to turn your poop into clean drinking water, and he's got just the machine to do it.
In a recent blog post and video, the billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist showed off what he called an "ingenious machine," a steam-powered sewage processor that burns up solid waste and creates both potable water and electricity.
Dubbed the "Omniprocessor," the machine was designed and built by the Washington-based engineering firm Janicki Bioenergy, which is now receiving funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to further develop the technology. Gates believes the machine can help solve one of the developing world's biggest problems -- access to clean water.
At least 2 billion people the world over relieve themselves in bathroom facilities that aren't properly drained, according to Gates, who also noted that many others don't have access to bathrooms at all and must defecate out in the open. All of this improperly processed waste contaminates the drinking water of millions of people in communities around the globe. This results in disease that kills about 700,000 children every year, and stunts the physical and mental development of many more, Gates wrote in his blog post.